Ninth Circuit Upholds Gun Rights for Nonviolent Felons

On Thursday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision regarding nonviolent felons owning firearms. In a 2-1 ruling, the court sided with a defendant named Steven Duarte, who had been convicted for breaking a law that forbids felons from having guns. The court’s decision to allow nonviolent felons to possess firearms is a step in the right direction for upholding Second Amendment rights.

Duarte had been caught throwing a handgun out of a car in Inglewood, California, leading to his conviction. Despite having a record with nonviolent offenses like vandalism and drug possession, the court found that barring him from owning a firearm was unconstitutional. This ruling goes against a previous decision by the Ninth Circuit and aligns with a Supreme Court ruling, reaffirming the rights of felons to bear arms.

While one judge dissented, arguing that the Second Amendment only protects law-abiding citizens, the majority opinion highlighted that Duarte, as a nonviolent offender, should not be stripped of his Second Amendment rights. This decision could have broader implications, potentially leading to the review of other gun-related convictions, including those of violent felons after they have served their time.

The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in United States v. Rahimi, involving a violent offender’s right to own a gun post-conviction, may further shape the landscape of Second Amendment rights. This ruling could spark significant debate and set a precedent for future cases. Overall, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in favor of allowing nonviolent felons to possess firearms is a win for upholding constitutional rights and individual liberties.

Written by Staff Reports

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